AFL-CIO Sues Over Rules

Disclosing information to their members is not something that the bosses at the AFL-CIO are going to do without a fight. The union has filed a lawsuit to block federal regulators from requiring unions to disclose more information about their officers’ finances, the Washington Times reports.

Under the regulations, officers and employees of a union in many cases must file a report with the Labor Department if they get loans or payments from vendors that do business with the union. . . . The Labor Department says the new rules aim to help disclose potential conflicts of interest. . . .

The Labor Department, in its official rule-making notice last year, cited a dozen examples of questionable financial arrangements at unions, which regulators say could have been discovered through financial disclosures.

“In one case, a union president owned the building where the union rented office space. In another, the spouse of a union employee owned an advertising company that received $245,000 in business from the union.

Andrew Auerbach, deputy director of the Office of Labor Management Standards, yesterday said the labor-reporting requirements have been in place for more than 40 years, and that many of the provisions have been mandated for years.

“The idea behind the legislation was to get information about the union to its members so they can make good decisions,” he said.

For those workers in the 22 Right to Work states that outlaw the forced payments of dues or fees to union bosses, the information would be very valuable. Those rank and file workers who are informed of the “deals” and conflicts can withdraw all of their financial support for the union which is the best antiseptic for corruption.

Unfortunately, the reporting requirement is simply salt-in-the-wound for workers in the 28 forced-unionism states. While they might be educated about what union officials are doing with their compulsory dues and fees they can do little about it. If they stop paying dues or fees they lose their jobs!

Ending forced unionism is the most important reform.

Notwithstanding, the AFL-CIO sues to keep the information away from the workers they claim to be helping.

Interesting, interesting indeed.